“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

― Brené Brown

In order to become our authentic self, we have to show vulnerability. To be vulnerable, you have to be okay with all aspects of yourself, not just what you choose to reveal to the outside world. Being honest and truthful with others takes courage. The hardest aspect of vulnerability is to be honest and truthful to yourself. Being vulnerable and truthful is one of my greatest challenges in life. But in order to break free from the ties that bind me, I will have to address some harsh truths.

I've often been placed in situations where I have been forced to be truthful to employers, partners and friends. I can vividly recall the time when I messed up with an event and didn’t tell my employer about how badly I messed up. Instead I told him that people must not have been interested in attending. Once confronted with the challenging situation, instead of being open I chose to lie.

At the time I thought I was covering up for perceived failures. This is partly true. What I was protecting was the story I created for myself. I created an image of a worker who was infallible where I can do no wrong. I would rather place the blame on others instead of being honest about the role I played. I would rather wear a mask, a facade rather than be my true self. It is part of the mask I chose to wear daily.

Wearing a mask of perceived invincibility allowed me to protect myself from being exposed as something less than perfect. I always wanted to be the person who can be relied upon, capable of solving any problem without the need of assistance. I saw needing help as being weak and incapable of doing my job. In personal relationships, even though my flaws were more evident, at times I don’t want to show that I feel weak, confused or emotional. Real men don’t show emotion. Real men can do things by themselves. Being my authentic self may lead to feelings of rejection, inadequacy or shame. Thus, wearing the mask of strength shielded by a wall of lies made it easier for me to cope with the outside world. But as my mother often states, when you lie, you are not lying to me, you are lying to yourself. My mother, as always, is right.

Even though lying is not hard to do and I can make it believable, I still feel trapped in a lie. I can’t speak openly about how I feel, what’s going on in my mind and I close myself from experiencing an authentic life. As circumstances force me to rethink how much more I can grow by sharing all of me and not just the aspects I want to reveal, I am learning that a greater connection can be made from being vulnerable. Friendships become more real. Relationships are deepened. Life has more meaning. Being vulnerable may be scary, I am learning the benefits far outweighs holding back. I am not fully where I want to be yet but I am slowly getting there.

To be vulnerable means taking off the mask that shapes how I want the outside world to see me. To be vulnerable means that I have to love and accept myself how I am presently - my strengths, my weaknesses, my highs and my lows. It is who I am I need to love that about me in order to be my authentic self. I need to practice being vulnerable and truthful daily. It is easier for me to be truthful to strangers than to those I love. I am practicing sharing my truths no matter how painful it is for me. It is quite daunting!

Finally, as I become more vulnerable, I have started to connect with people at a level I didn’t before. Being more open has allowed me to attract others who are also open. I have had meaningful conversations with those who I have known a very long time, without really knowing much about them. By showing more of the many dimensions of who I am, I have learned much more about the world around me. There are times I still hold back, but I truly value the steps I am taking. Vulnerability is not easy - it is liberating!

Author's Bio: 

Lennox Cadore
Personal trainer, fitness instructor, nutrition and life coach
Do you need help implementing information that can transform your own life? I can help you attain your goals and visions. If you have any questions on self-care, designing the proper exercise or meal plans to suit your needs email me: lennox@lennoxcadore.com and we can work together to create a healthier you!